Alfred De Vigny : A Hero As A Hero

891 Words4 Pages
When one pictures a hero, they may think of superheroes like Superman and Captain America, they may remember ancient heroes like Beowulf and Odysseus, and some will think of real-life heroes, those who have made a lasting difference. Why are the real heroes so different than those of action movies and ancient poetry? Alfred de Vigny believed that heroes and monsters do not exist in the real world, and that only children would use those labels. Heroes may not be as epic as Beowulf, but that does not mean that they do not exist. De Vigny is misguided in his belief that there are no heroes and monsters; those that embody the values of a society are heroes, and those that perform acts society sees as appalling are monsters. Furthermore, changing values can result in those once seen as heroes becoming monsters, and the opposite is true as well. The heroes of today are quite different than those seen as heroes in the past. The heroes of ancient England, Beowulf for example, were war heroes. They achieved glory in battle, through strength. Queen Wealhtheow told Beowulf, “Be acclaimed for strength, for kindly guidance” (1219). While Beowulf was known for his battle prowess, wisdom was important as well. Strength, loyalty, wisdom, and skill in battle were some of the most important values of the time, and these values were represented in their heroes. Our values have changed since ancient times, and because we no longer consider the strongest man a hero, it can seem as if heroes
Get Access